It’s Only A Shifting Of Seats – Again!

What does a good public finance banker need to know about the industry right now?

Welcome to 2024! I trust this will be another great year for all of us. I am wishing you a very healthy and prosperous New Year. If you’re old enough to remember Chicken Little, he was the character who said, “The Sky is falling down, the sky is falling down.” Well, that’s what many people think regarding the world of public finance; however, I am here to share that this is not the case. Let’s discuss the impact for our professionals like good public finance bankers, bond counsels, etc. 

Recent Changes

With two major players exiting the world of public finance and the others reducing staff, it appears that way. If we look at what happened within the last week or so, most of the good bankers who were prematurely released have already found new homes. Firms held meetings in major cities to meet with the released bankers and have already strengthened their ranks in building their teams. So, were all these people laid off due to firms exiting the field? Yes, but they have already been rehired. This is a trend we have seen in the past. Good public finance bankers are always in demand. For a moment forget that they have been re-hired. Let’s look at the facts again, as determined by my bellwether bonds indicator.

What Dictates The Public Finance Industry Each Year?

Rate Of Movement

As many of you know, I was a public finance banker in years past, and when we wanted to see the state of the industry and interest rates, we would look to the thirty-year treasury as an excellent solid indicator of the future. When I became a recruiter of good public finance bankers and bond counsels in 2011, I also needed an indicator of the industry. I determined that two factors should dictate how public finance will fair each year. One was the rate of movement and hiring needs in bond counsel, and the other was the state of our infrastructure. First, to address the need for bond counsel, it’s rampant for many reasons. The greying of the industry as a whole and many new lawyers are not looking to enter the bond counsel arena. Firms are actively looking for senior bond fellows as well as strong associates to place on the partnership track. All the firms I am fortunate enough to represent have requested that I find them new counsel, which we are actively pursuing.

State Of Infrastructure

If you are a bond counsel anywhere in the US, please get in touch with me! I have a plethora of firms looking to hire. Second, the state of infrastructure, which we all know is funded through municipal finance vehicles, needs repair. This has already begun throughout the United States in earnest. As long as infrastructure is required, there will be a need for good public finance bankers. Despite the departure of a couple of significant players, there is still this need for traditional and high-yield bankers in various areas including the following: healthcare, senior living, education, general obligation-type deals, and special district financing. However, it looks like there is more of a shift to high-yield deals by the regional firms and smaller firms as they continue to pick up that need from the issuers they represent.

Public Finance Is Here To Stay

Public finance today is still in vogue. The need for professionals who are confident of their abilities and do not rely on a business card (or even a balance sheet) is and will always be in demand. So, stop questioning if public finance is still needed. The answer is: YES! Let us help you with your career transitions and trajectories since we are the only recruiting firm specializing in this wonderful world of Public finance. Let us put our years of experience as good public finance bankers, attorneys, and recruiters to work for you – whether you are a candidate looking for a new home or a hiring manager who needs to increase your banker count. Reach out for a confidential chat.


You don’t need a resume to chat with us! If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email at [email protected]. He can also be reached on LinkedIn. Harlan publishes a blog every Thursday here. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here, which is a compilation of our weekly blogs, so you never miss one. You can find our listing in the “supplier and services” section of the Red Book under the title of “executive recruiting.”

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all levels Public Finance Bankers, Healthcare Bankers, Municipal Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.